Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Organized pantry makes for less grocery shopping!

I'd been thinking about it. For months, really. Now I have gone ahead and done it. Yesterday I straightened out our kitchen pantry and started to reclaim the hall closet for my linens and bathroom supplies.

I'm not sure when it happened exactly. But at some time I began putting cereal, juices, pasta and canned goods on the shelf in the hall closet. (I'm a sucker for a good buy and these were all extra items that were dirt cheap with coupons.) When it began there was actually a shelf available to do so. Then, suddenly, there was no space for the toilet paper, extra shampoo, toothpaste, women's hygiene products, bedsheets and pillowcases. Those things were then piled on a spare shelf outside the bathroom door, which would've been fine except that shelf was supposed to go out into the garage as a way to give us more space in our trailer-house.

At any rate, I am so happy to have finally taken care of this. I had just made the choice to cut back on grocery shopping. So it was wonderful to rediscover all the groceries we still had. I found half a dozen jars of peanut butter, home canned beets and jams, canned fruits and veggies, enough pastas to refill the several pasta containers I have in the pantry (and then some), enough bottled juices to last us weeks, canned diced tomatoes for making pasta sauces from scratch, 8 bottles of bbq sauce... Ahhh...

Photo shows, from the bottom up and like-items together and organized according to my use:
Bottom shelf-juices, canned tomatoes, canned fruit, ketchup
Second shelf up-pasta sauces, canned fish, bbq sauces, home canned beets and jams
Third one up-baking stuff, such as flour, sugars, leveners, cornmeal, oatmeal, etc.
Fourth one up-pastas, Tupperware holds odds'n'ends of wild and brown rice and pastas, Jello
Top-crackers, cake mixes, miscellaneous boxed mixes, taco seasoning packets (big clear container and reused cottage cheese container that has my homemade taco mix), rice

The door holds a bunch of seasonings, which I won't include in the photo... It's a mess and a project for another day.

Now I see more clearly that we don't need to do a whole lot of shopping for a while. We've got pasta, sauces, and sauce ingredients to make lasagna, spaghetti, fettuccini, taco-mac, ghoulash, etc. We've got enough taco seasoning to make tacos, enchiladas, Mexican rice, quesadillas, taco-burgers, etc. There's enough canned fruit and veggies for each night for the next few weeks. There's enough bbq sauce for meatballs, meatloaf, grilled chicken, chops, etc. Tuna for tuna salad for sandwiches, tuna casserole, tuna salad with noodles, etc. The next step will be to go to a site where I can print out a calendar to list my menus so I can use this stuff in an organized and planned way. For that, I like this site: Free Weekly Meal Planner

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